Are There Naturally Occurring Pleomorphic Bacteria in the Blood of Healthy Humans?

  1. Richard W. McLaughlin1,
  2. Hojatollah Vali1,
  3. Peter C. K. Lau2,
  4. Roger G. E. Palfree1,
  5. Angela De Ciccio1,
  6. Marc Sirois3,
  7. Darakhshan Ahmad4,
  8. Richard Villemur5,
  9. Marcel Desrosiers5 and
  10. Eddie C. S. Chan1,*

+ Author Affiliations

  1. Faculties of Dentistry and Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2B4
  2. Biotechnology Research Institute, National Research Council of Canada, Montreal, Quebec H4P 2R2
  3. Departément de Chimie-Biologie, Université du Quebec à Trois-Rivieres, Quebec G9A 5H7
  4. INRS-Institut Armand Frappier, Pointe Claire, Quebec H9R 1G6
  5. INRS-Institut Armand Frappier, Laval, Quebec H7V 1B7, Canada

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ABSTRACT

Dark-field microscopy of blood from healthy individuals revealed the existence of pleomorphic microorganisms. These bacteria exhibited limited growth and susceptibility to antibiotics and could be detected by fluorescent in situ hybridization and flow cytometry. They were further characterized by analysis of their 16S rRNA and gyrB genes.

In our search for spirochetes involved in Alzheimer’s disease (13), we observed pleomorphic bacteria in the blood of healthy human subjects by dark-field microscopy. This was a surprising finding since it is generally acknowledged that the bloodstream in healthy humans is a sterile environment (7) except when there is a breach in the integrity of the tissue membranes (6). However, the concept of the occurrence of bacteria in the blood of healthy humans is now more plausible because of cultivation-independent laboratory approaches. The main techniques employed in such studies include PCR amplification and sequencing of the16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA). These methods have revealed the presence of a wide diversity of microorganisms in the environment, and indeed within the human body (12). In this report we present evidence based on molecular phylogenetic techniques and light and electron microscopy, as well as other conventional microbiological methods, for the existence of a population of bacteria in healthy human blood. In view of the apparent controversial nature of our findings, it was encouraging to note the recent report of Nikkari et al. (14), who detected blood-associated bacterial rDNA sequences by using real-time PCR methods and a probe targeting conserved regions of bacterial 16S rDNA, and an earlier report by Tedeshi et al. (16) on the presence of pleomorphic bacteria as intraerythrocytic parasites in clinically healthy human subjects.

For light microscopic examination, blood samples from 25 healthy volunteers were drawn in a Vacutainer tube with no anticoagulants (Becton Dickinson, Franklin Lakes, N.J.); blood was drawn in the conventional manner involving antisepsis of the skin and avoidance of any introduction of external microorganisms by contamination. (Since external contamination was always a possibility, particular care and precaution were exercised at all times to avoid this. The specific procedures, as well as appropriate controls, are specified throughout the text.) A wet mount of the serum from the clotted blood of each sample, fresh or incubated at 30°C for between 5 to 7 days, was examined by dark-field microscopy (Leitz Dialux 20) for pleomorphic bacteria.

http://jcm.asm.org/content/40/12/4771.long

Advanced Live Blood Analysis Online Training Course 2018

The advanced course is for practitioners who have completed the live blood analysis 12-week online training course, or another course that covers live and dry blood analysis, who are looking for more clinical insights into the technique, and for those who want to stay up to date with the latest information in this developing field.

 

This is for live blood analysis practitioners who want:

· To be able to manage their clients’ cases better
· To better understand how to proceed from analysis to choosing a protocol / treatment.
· To simplify managing complex cases.
· To stay up to date with the latest information

Also included:
· Insights into the assessment and management of complex chronic conditions, with examples from clinical practice.
· Detailed case examples of clients from practice who were successfully treated with naturopathic and nutritional interventions, based on protocols developed by assessing their live & dry blood samples.

 

· Naturopathic insights into the cause and management of autoimmune conditions.
· Review and discussion on dry blood analysis and the mechanisms behind dry blood anomalies.
· Review and discussion on cancer indicators with two case studies.
· What plays the most vital role in determining your success with LBA in practice? What is the most important piece of information you need to achieve great results in practice?
· What specific protocols are required in the treatment of chronic cases.
· What the most important piece of information is that’s required to achieve great results in practice.
· How to correlate the information in the case at the end of the analysis to choose the correct approach in treatment.

 

Please let us know if you would be interested in attending and we will keep you informed regarding dates and times.

Pleomorphism and the Germ Theory Explained

Taken From the Live Blood Online & Neogenesis Systems Online Training Course Manual

The accepted biological paradigm today, which has led to the development of the germ theory, is Monomorphism (Gr. mónos: single + morphē: form).

This paradigm, developed by Louis Pasteur and other scientists, states that all microorganisms only have one possible form and do not have the ability to evolve into different types of organisms.

The germ theory followed, which states that specific diseases are caused by infection with specific microorganisms and are cured when the microorganisms have been destroyed.

 

This led to the development and widespread use of antibiotics, animal testing and many of the other atrocities of modern medicine.

 

Pleomorphism, the polar opposite of Monomorphism, was developed by scientists like Antoine Béchamp and Günther Enderlein and states that microorganisms have various life cycles and stages of development that can range between viruses, bacteria, yeast and fungi, depending on the type of microorganism and the environment it is presented with.

 

What is interesting is that pleomorphism and its proponents has been entirely written out of history books and encyclopedias and is not as much as mentioned, even for historical interest, in universities and training institutions.

Antoine Béchamp

 

We will begin our overview of the history of pleomorphism at the beginning, with French scientist Antoine Béchamp (1816-1908).

Béchamp was a Master of Pharmacy, Doctor of Science, Doctor of Medicine, Professor of Medical Chemistry and Pharmacy, Fellow and Professor of Physics and Toxicology, Professor of Biological Chemistry and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

He was actively involved in his biological research at the same time as Louis Pasteur.

Ten years of experimentation led Béchamp to the conclusion that the tiny “molecular granulations” that have been observed in the cells of plants and animals by other researchers, were living elements.

He called them “microzymas” (small ferments), due to their ability to ferment sugar.

He continued his research over another 13 years, developing the Theory of Microzymas. This theory states that the microzyma is an independently living element, found in all living organisms and survives after the death of the organism. It functions to both build and recycle the organism.

It is the builder and destroyer of cells; it precedes life at the cellular level and is the foundation of all biological organization. In healthy conditions, the microzymas have a beneficial relationship with the organism and fermentation occurs normally.

However, microzymas are very sensitive to biological signals, responding to changes in the terrain, especially pH. When the terrain becomes compromised, the microzymas become what Béchamp called “morbidly evolved”, changing into microscopic forms (bacteria) that contribute to the development of illness. Béchamp believed this characteristic to be linked to the function of the microzymas to recycle the body upon death.

The change in the terrain is interpreted by the microzymas that the organism is already dead, which is a signal for them to change into the “morbidly evolved” forms capable of more vigorous fermentative breakdown.

Béchamp was also able to show that compounds such as alcohol and acetic acid are produced in the tissues of all organisms as a direct result of the fermentation activity of the microzymas.

The difference between the two theories is quite clear:

Pasteur’s germ theory sees disease as being caused by external factors, whilst Béchamp’s pleomorphic theory considers the internal environment as the most important contributing factor.

Béchamp did not deny that the air carried germs, but maintained that they were not primarily responsible, and certainly not necessary, for disease. They are only present because of the compromised terrain. A good analogy was made by Rudolph Virchow: “… mosquitoes seek the stagnant water, but do not cause the pool to become stagnant.”

 

Claude Bernard

A researcher worth mentioning, who preceded Antoine Béchamp, was French physiologist Claude Bernard (1813-1878).

He was one of the first scientists of his time to see that disease is not simply determined by the germs involved or the symptoms present. He believed disease to be a general, underlying condition, affected and determined by the body’s internal environment, which he called the “Terrain”.

The state of the terrain is determined by four factors, namely:

1) its acid/alkaline balance;

2) its electric/magnetic charge;

3) its level of poisoning;

4) its nutritional status.

 

Royal Raymond Rife

During the 1920’s R.R. Rife was researching a method to treat disease by destroying microorganisms through radio frequency radiation. To help him determine the correct frequency, he designed and built a most incredible microscope (consisting of 5682 parts) that used polarizing prisms to “stain” the organisms with light. He then used a radio frequency beam ray to destroy the organisms, which he used successfully to cure many serious conditions, including polio, TB and cancer.

He is relevant to the history of pleomorphism in that he was able to isolate a virus he found in cancerous tissue and transform it into a fungus and then into a bacterium. He was able to repeat this hundreds of times and showed that the pleomorphic development of microorganisms goes beyond the bacterial level to the fungal stage.

 

Günther Enderlein

 

German zoologist and bacteriologist Prof. Dr. Günther Enderlein (1872-1968) is still considered by many as the father of pleomorphism. He based his work on that of Antoine Béchamp and conducted research for over 60 years, which led him to several remarkable discoveries.

He showed that the protit, not the cell, is the smallest biological unit of life. Protits (Béchamp’s microzymas) are small, living protein particles found in all the cells, blood and other fluids of all living organisms. They can not be destroyed and survives after the death of the organism, performing the function of decomposition.

 

 

He also found that the blood is not sterile and that it contains tiny life forms, capable of evolving into more complex, pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms when conditions are favourable.

 

Much of his discoveries he made because he was looking at live blood in darkfield. This helped him to see that in healthy conditions the protits remain small and beneficial, working with the body in a symbiotic relationship. However, when presented with a disturbed environment, the protits are able to develop into more complex, pathogenic forms, including bacteria and fungi. The specific symptoms and forms of disease depend on the level of development of the pathogenic forms, which is governed by the state of the terrain.

Enderlein referred to all the possible developmental forms of the protits as the Endobiont. He discovered that two microbes exist, and has always existed, in all vertebrate mammals. These are Mucor racemosus Fresen, which he called the primary parasite, and Aspergillus niger van Tieghem.

Mucor is found in the blood and other cells and when in its beneficial, primitive stages, it is responsible for the coagulation of blood. When in its pathogenic stages, Mucor leads to congestion, cancer and many other degenerative diseases.

Aspergillus, in its primitive stages, is responsible for the regulation of the citric acid cycle and calcium metabolism.

Enderlein believed that the infection of mammals with Aspergillus allowed for the development of skeletal structures.

Aspergillus can be found in the bones, connective tissue and lymphatics. Pathogenic phases of Aspergillus are responsible for para-tubercular diseases, connective tissue disorders, arthritis and skin problems.

Enderlein showed that while exogenous microorganisms are monomorphic and produce recognizable, communicable diseases, other non-communicable, chronic diseases are caused by the pathogenic evolution of the pleomorphic Endobiont.

This evolution is governed by the state of the terrain, particularly the pH.

The Anartatic Law of Interdependence states that the progressive development of microorganisms from the protit stages into their higher and highest stages requires a progressively descending pH.

This process, once started, is then supported by the Endobiont itself, which produces acid wastes from its metabolism of protein. Each microorganism produces a specific organic acid: Aspergillus produces citric acid and Mucor produces lactic acid.

It is important to note that Enderlein described the evolution of Mucor and Aspergillus, both of which find their culminant (highest stage of development) as a fungal organism.

Other organisms that may also be pleomorphic do not necessarily have their culminants in the fungal phase, but rather in the bacterial phase (e.g. Staphylococcus aureus).

 

Gaston Naessens

Quebec scientist Gaston Naessens, who is currently involved in research, has also contributed greatly to pleomorphism. He designed a special microscope, called the “Somatoscope”, which enables him to observe changes in living tissue at very high magnification and resolution.

He, like Enderlein and Béchamp, discovered small living particles, which he called “somatids”. He has identified two somatid cycles: the microcycle and the macrocycle. Only the microcycle occurs in health and consists of only three stages, where all three forms are symbiotic. The macrocycle occurs in disease and consists of sixteen stages, including bacteria-like and fungus-like forms.

The culminant fungal phases of Mucor racemosus and Aspergillus niger only occupy the blood after death as it requires an acidic environment.

There are transitional mycelial phases that can however be observed in the blood.

These phases represent the highest phase of Mucor’s development in the living host and their presence is indicative of severe conditions.

Blood Sample

Week 1 Is All About How to Use the Microscope and Take A Good Blood Sample

We are on the first week of the online training course and our tutor is showing us how to use the microscope as well as explaining the importance of taking a blood sample correctly so as to get consistent results.

(Consistency is very important in live blood analysis)


Our tutor shows us by video – all the components of the microscope and how to use them. For information on microscopes http://livebloodonline.com/microscopes/

Microscopes designed for viewing live blood have several features not seen in regular microscopes. They have a high-resolution video camera attached for taking videos and pictures of the blood, this is for clients to keep as well as for future comparison, reference, and monitoring.

Successful evaluation of blood morphologies depends not only on the accurate identification and interpretation of blood signs but also on the correct sampling technique. It is critical to the reliability of the test, to the practitioner’s reputation and their client’s well being that they are able to take blood samples correctly and safely.

The blood sample is produced with a lancet in the same way as in a blood sugar test. This is taken from a finger and is a simple procedure.

Many factors can affect the outcome of the test, such as damaging the blood cells during collection and the inclusion of artifacts It is the practitioner’s responsibility to ensure that they are so efficient in taking blood samples that their results are repeatable.
This procedure to correctly and safely take samples for both live blood and layered dried blood evaluation is covered in detail in lesson 1.

This ensures that practitioners of live blood analysis trained by Live Blood Online are trained to take consistent specimens and thereby get consistent results.

Join us to learn more on the latest online training course in Live and Dry Blood Analysis – http://livebloodonline.com/the-training-course/
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benefits Live Blood Analysis

5 ways that live blood analysis could really help you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please join us for a short but very interesting webinar to demonstrate and explain how live blood analysis can be of great help in finding health imbalances as well as being invaluable for monitoring the efficacy of treatment and protocols.

 

Register here https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2980910548103803651

 

Here are just 5 of the benefits Live Blood Analysis (LBA) has to offer:

1) LBA (Live Blood Analysis) helps to confirm and better detect imbalances and health issues.

2) LBA helps the practitioner obtain a more accurate picture and decide the best course of treatment.

3) With LBA you are able to monitor the results of any given treatment.

4)  Live blood analysis can show signs of health issues on a cellular level before disease has had a chance to manifest or present with symptoms.

5) LBA gives you a as a practitioner, a very unique and powerful edge.

Parasites in Live Blood Analysis

IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 90% OF THE POPULATION HAS AT LEAST ONE FORM OF PARASITE IN THE BODY!

(Small black bulges can be signs of toxins left behind by parasites in live blood analysis)

Once a person is infected it is not too difficult to eliminate the adult parasites. The more difficult part is dealing with the life cycle of the parasite which can take a considerable amount of time to accomplish.

Parasites may be present in food or in water and can cause disease.
Ranging in size from tiny, single-celled organisms to worms visible to the naked eye, parasites are more and more frequently being identified as causes of foodborne illness not only in third world countries but Western countries as well.The illnesses they can cause range from mild discomfort to debilitating illness and possibly death.It has been reported that 90% of the world population has at least one form of parasite living in their body!They live and feed off the host.
They can deprive us of vitamins, nutrients, and amino acids, alter our natural pH levels, decrease our energy levels and create an acidic environment in the body.

According to the August 2000 issue of Discover magazine, most people have multiple parasites inhabiting their bodies. Recent research has shown that parasites are much more powerful than scientists originally believed. In fact, it seems parasites far outnumber any other living creatures. Our bodies are systems whose functions depend on communication between cells. It alarms scientists greatly that parasites are able to inhibit this communication, and thus seriously harm our bodily systems.

 

What are parasites? Parasites are organisms that derive nourishment and protection from other living organisms known as hosts. They may be transmitted from animals to humans, from humans to humans, or from humans to animals. Several parasites have emerged as significant causes of foodborne and waterborne disease. These organisms live and reproduce within the tissues and organs of infected human and animal hosts, and are often excreted in feces.

How are they transmitted?

They may be transmitted from host to host through consumption of contaminated food and water, or by putting anything into your mouth that has touched the stool (feces) of an infected person or animal.

How do they vary?

Parasites are of different types and range in size from tiny, single-celled, microscopic organisms (protozoa) to larger, multi-cellular worms (Helminths) that may be seen without a microscope.

What are some common parasites?
Some common parasites are Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium parvum, Cyclospora cayetanensis, Toxoplasma gondii, Trichinella spiralis, Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm), and Taenia solium (pork tapeworm).
Parasites include ringworm, roundworms, tapeworms, microbial growth and their eggs.There are many ways in which parasites can enter the body: through food that has not been properly washed, infected meat, water, pets, dirt under fingernails, and also through the skin (Hookworm). Once the infection of parasites takes place they begin to multiply rapidly.One of the most common symptoms of parasites is fatigue as a result of the parasites feeding upon the host—YOU! They can steal vital nutrients from the body which can result in compromised health and a compromised immune system.

The typical life cycle of a parasite starts with ingestion of eggs by the host. Parasites typically like a warm, dark and moist environment. They hatch and then invade the intestinal wall. Some will migrate to other parts of the body and some will migrate to the anal part of the body. Some adult parasites can live in the host body for up to two years. During this time as many as 50,000 eggs may be deposited. While in the body the parasites feed off of ingested food and even nutritional supplements. They also have an elimination process which means that they actually “go to the bathroom” in the host body.

Parasite Eggs
Once a person is infected it is not too difficult to eliminate the adult parasites. The more difficult part is dealing with the life cycle of  the parasite which can take a considerable amount of time to accomplish

What is your current risk for parasites?

Count all of the symptoms and precursors to see how many your client has!

  • Bloating
  • Foggy Memory
  • Food Cravings
  • Mild Nagging Headache
  • Anal Itching
  • Insomnia
  • Bronchitis
  • Tiny Red Abrasions That Itch
  • Rash
  • Irritable or Grumpy
  • Pet or bird in the house
  • Eat Sushi
  • Malabsorption
  • Gas
  • Allergies
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Anemia
  • Candida
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Restlessness
  • Crave Sweets
  3 or less of the above symptoms the health risk is medium.
  4-7 of the above symptoms the health risk is high.
  7 or more of the above symptoms the health risk extremely high.
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Heavy Metal Toxicity

Heavy Metal Toxicity as Seen in Live Blood Analysis

Appearance:

These appear as black points at the edge of the layer, or as a dark shore or waves.

Cause & Interventions:

Strongly indicative of heavy metal toxicity, this can be from the environment (pollution, contaminated food, water or air, smoking and passive smoking) and also amalgams.

Points at the edge of the layer usually indicate the presence of lead and/or amalgams.

Dark waves deeper into the layer indicate that metals are being held in the fatty tissues, brain and nervous system, which is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Symptoms

Possible symptoms include: Muscular pain and weakness, decreased cognitive function, poor memory and concentration, fatigue, sore/bleeding gums.

Recommendations:

Chelation therapy, chlorella, selenium, and have amalgams removed professionally or replaced with non metal alternatives.

 

The ‘Pretend Fast’?

 By Jackie Newson

Fasting is all the rage these days due to a swathe of highly published research that proves the numerous health and weight loss benefits associated with restricting food intake. There are many different types of fasting methods, the more popular being intermittent fasting, time restricted fasting, juice fasting and water fasting.

However the fasting mimicking diet (FMD) which may not be as well known, is gaining popularity. This ‘pretend’ fast appears to have all the health benefits of water fasting but none of the hardship.

Origins of Fasting

Fasting is an ancient healing tradition that has been practised by virtually all cultures and religions for centuries. References to fasting can be found in the Bible, the Koran and in ancient Greek texts and was often referred to as cleansing or purifying. Hippocrates – considered the father of modern medicine, championed fasting as part of the natural therapies he recommended.

Animals in a natural environment instinctively turn to fasting when they feel ill, curing themselves with sunlight, fresh air, rest and fasting. Humans, like most animals, also have no desire to eat when they become sick. Perhaps this is why fasting is known as the ‘physician within’, or as Arnold Ehret called it – nature’s bloodless operating table.

Aside from the religious and spiritual significance, fasting has been used by physicians throughout millennia as a therapy for numerous health conditions. The belief being that nature is the greatest healer and the body has its own innate healing powers that can prevent disease and regain good health. By fasting we tap into something that is deeply, intrinsically beneficial to the body and spirit.

Naturopaths uphold this belief, maintaining that fasting enables nature to perform a cleansing in the body without being hindered by the additional load of food to digest. Therefore the digestive organs are given a well needed rest, enabling the body to detoxify, carry out repairs and work more efficiently.

Recent research has identified that fasting triggers adaptive cellular responses which reduce oxidative damage and inflammation as well as optimizing energy metabolism.

According to animal studies intermittent or periodic fasting – as practised with water fasting or FMD protects against diabetes, asthma, obesity, high blood pressure multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also has the potential to delay ageing by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistance pathways.

The Value of Water Fasting

Cleansing and fasting are integral to a holistic approach to healing as practised by many complementary and alternative health practitioners.

Naturopathic medicine honours the body’s innate wisdom to heal, utilizing the most natural, least toxic and least invasive therapies to treat ill health and promote wellness. Cleansing and detoxifying by fasting is part of a naturopaths toolbox and where appropriate water fasting may be employed to encourage healing.

Many health problems today are associated with dietary excesses, in particular sugar, animal fats and animal proteins as well as smoking and the use of alcohol, caffeine and refined food products.

Making dietary and lifestyle changes can help to reduce the likelihood of medical intervention, however many people find it difficult to adhere to long term diet and lifestyle changes.

Fasting in a safe and supported environment can produce rapid changes that could help some individuals to get back on track to healthy living, and may also enable some to break free from patterns of emotional eating.

What Does Water Fasting involve?

Water only fasting, by definition is the withholding of all substances except pure water for spiritual, health, or other reasons in an environment of complete rest.

Exercise is discouraged to preserve energy and allow optimum adaptation to the fasting state. The fast can last for anything from half a day up to as much as 40 days.

Water fasting is designed to give a break to the digestive system, freeing up energy so the body can repair itself. The quantity of water ingested during a fast is determined by thirst.  It is important to drink several glasses of water daily to prevent dehydration – between 9 to 13 cups are recommended.

What are the Benefits?

Therapeutic water fasting provides an opportunity for the body to re-boot itself by removing irritants, whether they be food, drugs, microbes or toxins and give the body time to heal itself.

We are constantly exposed to toxins, from the air we breathe to the food we eat and even as a by-product of metabolism. These toxins cause irritation and inflammation throughout the body.

It is now known that chronic inflammation is the cause of many of the modern world’s common diseases, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, obesity etc.

Water-only fasting encourages a unique biological adaptation which produces a rapid healing response. This can be quite vigorous which is why fasting can sometimes be an intense and often unpleasant experience. The body is able to rapidly eliminate toxic products so changes appear very quickly.

What might normally take months with careful feeding can happen within days or weeks with water fasting. However, fasting should not be seen as a cure it is a powerful and effective tool that may facilitate the body’s own healing mechanism.

There are several documented benefits these include:

  • Weight loss
  • Normalisation of blood pressure
  • Normalisation of blood glucose
  • Normalisation of cholesterol levels
  • Improvement in circulation
  • Remission of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduction in side-effects of chemotherapy
  • Reduced risk of cancer & cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Reduction in back and neck pain

How Long Should You Fast?

Short-term water fasts last between three and five days.  Prior to fasting you should undergo a physical examination by a qualified doctor or naturopath to ensure your safety during the fast. Some tests may be carried out and medications or chronic illnesses will be considered before commencing a fast.

Longer fasts can be beneficial in terms of chronic illness, but in these cases supervision by a qualified practitioner or physician is essential in order to continually monitor your health.

Possible Side Effects

Fasting creates a situation whereby there are low concentrations of toxic waste in the circulation. This is sensed by the plasma membrane of each cell which triggers the cells to release their toxic waste.

Fasting causes this to happen suddenly which can result in mild systemic toxaemia as the system attempts to cleanse itself. During fasting you might expect to experience brief but mild side effects which may include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Coated tongue
  • Bad breath
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Joint pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Normal bodily reactions to fasting include reduced blood pressure and heart rate, and a decrease in body temperature and respiratory rate. This is part and parcel of the body’s attempts to conserve energy.

It appears that the most difficult part of fasting is between 18 and 48 hours after withdrawing food. This is when the body is experiencing the change from carbohydrate burning to fat burning.

Safety Issues

Fasting is not appropriate for everyone. This includes pregnant individuals or those at or under ideal body weight. Patients with extreme weakness, some types of cancer, kidney problems, psychological disorders, anorexia, bulimia or eating disorders, as well as the elderly and very young children.

Long term strict water fasting may also carry a risk for heart failure. This is because the body’s cellular stores of electrolytes that are necessary for heart function like potassium and magnesium become depleted throughout the fast even though levels in the blood may remain normal. Ultimately this can lead to organ dysfunction – increasing the chances of a fatal reduction in cardiac, immune or renal function.

It may be possible to avoid this by supplementing with the electrolytes: sodium, potassium, phosphate, calcium and magnesium during long-term water fast. These minerals are essential for balancing fluid levels in the body and may also prevent one of the biggest dangers of extreme fasting: ‘Refeeding syndrome’.

Breaking the Fast

Refeeding syndrome is a potentially fatal condition that can happen if you rapidly introduce too much food following an extended water fast.

Suddenly changing from ketosis (where the body burns fat for energy) to carbohydrate based foods triggers a rush of insulin from the pancreas which helps the body to utilise the carbohydrates.

For this to happen the body draws upon large quantities of phosphate, magnesium, potassium and several vitamins, which can lead to acute deficiencies resulting in heart failure, hypotension and sudden death.

It is therefore extremely important to break the fast correctly. Ideally the first two days following a fast should include easily digested foods, beginning with juices, then raw vegetables and fruit, followed by a variety of cooked and raw whole foods. High fat foods are not recommended initially as these may not be well tolerated straight after a fast.

The Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD)

Water – only fasting can be hard for people to stick to and if not carried out under the supervision of trained health practitioners, it can be potentially dangerous, especially in combination with different types of drugs such as metformin, insulin etc.

The FMD offers the same health benefits of a water only fast but without the risks or hardship.

Scientist Valter Longo, a professor in Gerontology and Biological Science at the University of Southern California, has developed a complex diet that triggers extreme metabolic changes in the body. These mechanisms promote the same health benefits and anti-ageing effects associated with water fasting.

Professor Longo is considered a worldwide leading expert on prolongation of lifespan and longevity – his fasting mimicking diet has been rigorously researched, which makes it a very attractive option for those who want to improve their health, live longer and potentially lose weight into the bargain!

The FMD regime has been shown to reduce insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which in high levels has been associated with an increased risk of cancer. Research has also shown that prolonged fasting as in FMD has a profound effect on the immune system, kick starting stem cells to regenerate new white blood cells, which enhances our ability to fight disease.

Scientist believe the healing benefits mentioned above are due to a process in the body known as autophagy where cells recycle themselves – a vital function for maintaining health and longevity. It seems fasting has the power to increases this mechanism.

Both animal and human studies carried out by Prof Longo found that five days on the FMD regime reduced visceral belly fat and boosted generation of new nerve cells, improving memory, learning and cognitive function as well as decreasing the risk factors and biomarkers for aging, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. With the added bonus of no side effects!

Participants in the FMD human studies found that not only did they lose weight, but they had improved energy, less abdominal fat, softer skin and were better able to control their food intake. Even though they returned to their regular eating habits between fasting they still saw positive changes.

The FMD method should be followed for 5 days at a time as the body needs at least three or four days before reprogramming itself, so that regeneration and rejuvenation can commence. To continue to gain the health benefits the diet should be followed once every 3-6 months – depending on an individual’s state of health.

On average you can expect to lose approximately 3% of your overall weight during the 5 day FMD. The diet also promotes fast fat loss whilst preserving lean muscle and bone mass.

Dietary Details of the FMD

The diet consists of between 34% to 54% of normal adult daily calorie intake.

The average man needs around 2,500 calories a day and a woman needs around 2000 calories a day, depending on age, metabolism and physical activity.

Additionally the FMD should be made up of 9-10% protein, 56% fat and 34% carbohydrate.

The days are split into:

Day one – 1,090 calories (9% protein)

Days 2-5 – 725 calories (10% protein)

The diet has been put together carefully to contain exactly the right amounts of nutrients so it doesn’t feel like a fast but still gives the same health benefits.

The idea that fasting or restricting calories can extend life has been studied by many. However the FMD places less of a stress on the body than complete water fasting and supplies most of the carbohydrates in the form of vegetables.

The advantage of vegetables is that they have far more phytonutrients and minerals than grain sourced carbohydrates so have greater health benefits.

Following the FMD twice a year, combined with regular exercise and a healthful diet that includes lots of fresh vegetables, oily fish, nuts and seeds and plenty of olive oil should make a huge difference to general health and longevity.

About the author…
Jackie Newson , BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapy, is a nutritional consultant providing dietary analysis for recipes and menu plans and assess nutritional therapy students on line.


REFERENCES

  1. The 6 Principles. https://aanmc.org/6-principles/ [Accessed 5.6.17.]
  2. Brandhorst et al. A periodic diet that mimics fasting promotes multi-system regeneration, enhanced cognitive performance and health span. Cell Metab. 2015, 22; 1: 86-99.
  3. Buhner SH (2003). The Foundation for Gaian Studies. The Health Benefits of Water Fasting. http://www.gaianstudies.org/articles4.htm [Accessed 7.6.17.]
  4. Government of India. Ministry of Ayush. Fasting Therapy. http://ayush.gov.in/about-the-systems/naturopathy/techniques-and-benefits-different-modalities-naturopathy/fasting-therapy
  5. Gustafson C., Goldhamer A. Water Fasting—The Clinical Effectiveness of Rebooting Your Body. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal. 2014; 13(3):52-57.
  6. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2005). Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride and Sulphate. The National Academies Press: Washington DC.
  7. Lee C et al. Fasting cycles retard growth of tumours and sensitize a range of cancer cell typesto chemotherapy. Sci Transl Med. 2012, 4; 124: 124-7.
  8. LeMaho Y & Lignot JH. A History of Modern Research into Fasting, Starvation, and Inanition. Comparative Physiology of Fasting, Starvation, and Food Limitation 2012; 2:7-23.
  9. Lipski E (2004). Digestive Wellness. McGraw-Hill: NY USA.
  10. Longo VD & Mattson MP. Fasting: molecular mechanisms and clinical applications. Cell Metab. 2014; 19:181-92.
  11. Metabolic Effect. Naturopathic Water Fasting. http://www.metaboliceffect.com/wp-content/uploads/Therapeutic_Water_Fasting.pdf
  12. Wei et al. Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Transl. Med. 2017, 9: 1-12.

Gall Bladder and Gallstones

in Nutrition /by Jeff Apthorp

I thought I was having a heart attack. The pain and pressure in my chest and shoulders were unbearable. Should I call 911 or try to drive to the hospital? Or was this just the worst indigestion ever?

That’s what I experienced a handful of times prior to having my gallbladder removed. It was horrible and I just wanted it to never happen again.

I scheduled an ultrasound and it showed gallstones. The surgeon recommended a laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. That’s what they call the surgery to remove a gallbladder.

The day of the surgery, I wanted to call it off because I had no symptoms and felt great.

They never told me surgery wasn’t necessary and that I would have impaired ability to digest fat for the rest of my life.

I learned much later that surgery is rarely necessary. Gallbladder problems can usually be reversed and there are simple dietary changes that will help protect the little guy.

Here’s how to protect your gallbladder and what you MUST do if your gallbladder has been removed.

Gallbladder surgery is common but usually unnecessary

Over the past thirty years, there’s been a 20% increase in the number of people suffering from gallbladder problems. It is estimated that 10-15% of the US population (20-25 million people) have gallbladder complications (usually gallstones) that lead to 1.8 million hospital visits and $6.2 billion dollars in healthcare costs annually.

The common “solution” to gallbladder problems is surgery. There are over 750,000 cholecystectomies annually in the US.

Dr. Joseph Mercola doesn’t pull any punches in describing how this currently works in conventional medicine:

“I believe it is nearly criminal what traditional medicine is doing to our public when it comes to managing this problem. It is RARELY ever indicated to remove someone’s gallbladder. If one ignores warning symptoms and does not address the reasons why their gallbladder is not functioning properly, then the disease can progress to the point where the pancreas is inflamed or the gallbladder is seriously infected and may have to be removed to save a person’s life.  However, it is important to have a proper perspective here. Nearly ONE MILLION gallbladders are removed every year in this country and it is my estimate that only several thousand need to come out.

So, not only are surgeons removing these organs unnecessarily but in their nutritional ignorance, they are telling patients that their gallbladders do not serve any purpose and they can live perfectly well without them. This is a lie.”

Advanced Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Tom Malterre adds, “Unfortunately, 10-33% of people who get their gallbladder taken out never resolve their symptoms of gallbladder disease; and in fact, those who have their gallbladder removed may suffer from a whole new set of symptoms like fat malabsorption and vitamin deficiencies after surgery.”

Dr. Mercola has observed the same. “In my experience, more than half the time the gallbladder is taken out, the patient’s pain that prompted the surgery still remains. This is because the surgeon never fixed the problem. They only treated the symptom.”

Out of nearly 1 million annual gallbladder surgeries in the US, only a few thousand are needed.

The gallbladder serves an important digestive function

The gallbladder is a four-inch sac located just below and behind the liver. It stores bile.

Dr. David Williams is a medical researcher, biochemist, and chiropractor. He explains, “Bile acids are produced from cholesterol in your liver and then flow into your gallbladder where they are stored and concentrated as much as fivefold.” He says, “With a healthy gallbladder, proper amounts of bile are released into the digestive tract as needed.”

According to, Tom Malterre, “bile is made up of: “97% water, 0.7% bile salts (cholesterol that interacts with hydroxylation/CYP450 enzymes and has either glycine or taurine attached to it), 0.51% fats (i.e. cholesterol, phospholipids), 0.2% bilirubin (derived from heme- the substance in red blood cells), and a trace amount of inorganic salts (i.e. potassium, sodium bicarbonate).”

About half of the bile released goes to the small intestine. The other half is stored in the gallbladder until needed.

Tom Malterre explains, “As food travels out of the stomach and into the small intestines (duodenum), cells that line the intestinal walls “sense” the fats and amino acids in the food and release a hormone called CCK (cholecystokinin/Chole= bile, Cysto= sac, Kinin= mover). This bile sac-moving hormone signals the gallbladder to squeeze forcing the bile into the upper intestines where it helps to digest fats found in foods. Simultaneously, CCK also signals digestive enzymes to be released from the pancreas.”

Dr. Williams simplifies, “As your body senses the movement of fat into the small intestine, the gallbladder releases the bile to emulsify the fat—making it easier to absorb.”

Bile does to fats what dish detergent does to grease. It’s an emulsifier. Bile breaks down fats into teeny tiny droplets, which gives fat-digesting enzymes more surface area upon which to do their work.

90 to 95 percent of the bile squirted into the digestive system is reabsorbed by the large intestines and returned to the liver, where it is reused as many as twenty times.

Your gallbladder is vital for digestion. It releases bile when needed to make fat absorb.

If your gallbladder is diseased or removed, you won’t absorb fat or excrete cholesterol properly

Dr. David Williams summarizes, “With a healthy gallbladder, proper amounts of bile are released into the digestive tract as needed. Without a gallbladder, there is a continuous trickle of bile into your system regardless of the presence or absence of fat. The failure to match bile output to fat presence jeopardizes one’s ability to properly digest fat and, eventually, leads to deficiencies in fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids, poor cholesterol metabolism, and the absorption of improperly digested fat globules.”

Here’s what you can expect if you are not digesting fat properly.

Deficiencies in fat-soluble vitamins

Proper digestion of fat is required to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins, which include A, D, E and K.

Vitamin A contributes to immune function, healthy vision, and proper cell growth.

Vitamin A comes in two forms. Both require bile for absorption.

According to Dr. Mercola:

  • “Retinol is preformed vitamin A, found in animal products such as grass-fed meat and poultry, liver, fish, and raw organic dairy products like butter. This is the form of vitamin A your body can actually use.”
  • “Beta-carotene is pre-vitamin A, found in plant foods like fruits and vegetables. In order for your body to actually use beta-carotene, it must first convert it into retinol, and to do this, you need to have a well-functioning digestive tract and sufficient bile produced by your gallbladder. Specific enzymes are also needed to break down the carotene for the conversion into retinol to occur.”

Putting grass fed butter or drizzling coconut or olive oil on veggies, helps you absorb fat soluble vitamins – when you have enough bile present to emulsify the fat.

Signs of Vitamin A deficiency:

  •          Dry eyes
  •          Drying, scaling, and follicular thickening of the skin
  •          Night blindness
  •          Red or white acne-like bumps (on your cheeks, arms, thighs, and buttocks)
  •          Respiratory infections

Cells can only produce vitamin A receptors with the assistance of magnesium and zinc.

Vitamin D is critically important for cell function. It is one of the most potent cancer inhibitors. Vitamin D3 sends messages to our genes to control many different functions including preventing cancer, reducing inflammation, boosting mood, easing muscle aches and fibromyalgia, and building bones.

The best way to get vitamin D is from the sun. As soon as the sun’s UVB rays hit your skin, the body produces it’s own vitamin D3. UVB waves are highest at midday so the ideal time for sun exposure is between 10 AM and 4 PM.

Keep in mind that fully activated vitamin D3 (calcitriol) is useless in the absence of magnesium. Zinc also interacts with vitamin D, and it appears they promote each other’s intestinal absorption.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a strikingly diverse array of common chronic diseases, including:

  •          Alzheimer’s disease
  •          Asthma
  •          Autism
  •          Cancer
  •          Cavities
  •          Cold and fly
  •          Crohn’s disease
  •          Cystic fibrosis
  •          Diabetes 1 and 2
  •          Dementia
  •          Depression
  •          Eczema & Psoriasis
  •          Hearing loss
  •          Hypertension
  •          Heart disease
  •          Infertility
  •          Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  •          Insomnia
  •          Macular degeneration
  •          Migraines
  •          Multiple Sclerosis
  •          Muscle pain
  •          Obesity
  •          Osteoporosis
  •          Periodontal disease
  •          Preeclampsia
  •          Red or white acne-like bumps (on your cheeks, arms, thighs, and buttocks)
  •          Rheumatoid arthritis
  •          Septicemia
  •          Seizures
  •          Schizophrenia
  •          Signs of aging
  •          Tuberculosis

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and immune system booster that has a number of cancer-fighting properties.

Vitamin E can do more harm than good for smokers, children with autism and people with a certain a mutated gene. Therefore, it’s best not to supplement unless under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Food, not a supplement, is your best source of vitamin E. Dietary sources of vitamin E include raw organic nuts, such as hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, and pecans. You also get vitamin E from legumes and green vegetables, like spinach and broccoli.

Vitamin E deficiency signs include:

  •          asthma and allergies
  •          brain damage
  •          cancer
  •          cognitive decline
  •          high oxidized LDL cholesterol levels
  •          hot flashes
  •          menstrual pain
  •          poor circulation
  •          prostate and breast cancers

Avoid synthetic vitamin E (tocopheryl), as it will not provide your body with the benefits that natural full-spectrum vitamin E will.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K1 is most well-known for the role it plays in blood clotting.The initial discovery was reported in a German scientific journal, where it was called Koagulationsvitamin. That’s where the “K” comes from. K-rich foods include spinach, kale, collards, and mustard greens.

Vitamin K2 is also essential. Its role is to help move calcium into proper areas of your body, like bones and teeth. It also helps remove calcium from areas where it shouldn’t be, like arteries and soft tissues. K2 is prevalent in fermented vegetables like sauerkraut.

Raw dairy products such as certain cheeses, raw butter, and kefir also contain high amounts. However, only grass-fed animals (not grain fed) will develop naturally high K2 levels. This is one of the several reasons why I only use grass-fed butter in my coffee.

Vitamin K3 is a synthetic form and not recommended.

Vitamin K deficiency can lead to:

  •          Arterial calcification
  •          Cardiovascular disease
  •          Dementia
  •          Infectious diseases such as pneumonia
  •          Leukemia
  •          Liver cancer
  •          Lung cancer
  •          Osteoporosis
  •          Prostate cancer
  •          Tooth decay
  •          Varicose veins

According to Dr. Mercola, “Vitamins A and D also cooperate to regulate the production of certain vitamin K-dependent proteins. Once vitamin K2 activates these proteins, they help mineralize bones and teeth, protect arteries and other soft tissues from abnormal calcification, and protect against cell death. Magnesium, calcium, vitamin D3, or vitamin K2 also work in tandem, so if you’re considering taking one, you need to take all the others into consideration as well.”

Deficiency in vitamin B-12

The connection between B-12 and bile from the gallbladder is that it takes a lot of stomach acid to to break down this essential B vitamin.

Vitamin B-12 is generally found in all animal foods (except honey). Contrary to rumors, there are no reliable, unfortified plant sources of vitamin B-12.

Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is known as the energy vitamin.

Chris Kresser explains why B-12 is important: “Vitamin B12 works together with folate in the synthesis of DNA and red blood cells. It’s also involved in the production of the myelin sheath around the nerves, and the conduction of nerve impulses. You can think of the brain and the nervous system as a big tangle of wires. Myelin is the insulation that protects those wires and helps them to conduct messages.”

Dr. Mercola warns, “And oral B-12 supplementation will not address this issue as they will not break down in your stomach if acid production is low. In fact, if you are one of the people taking these proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers, the primary way your body can effectively absorb the B-12 that it needs is through inter-muscular injections.”

Signs of vitamin B-12 deficiency:

  •          Alzheimer’s, dementia, cognitive decline and memory loss (referred to as “aging”)
  •          Autism spectrum disorder
  •          Autoimmune disease and immune dysregulation
  •          Balance issues
  •          Bloating
  •          Cancer
  •          Cardiovascular disease
  •          Constipation
  •          Delusions
  •          Depression
  •          Diarrhea
  •          Fatigue
  •          Headaches
  •          Impulse control problems
  •          Infertility
  •          Learning or developmental disorders in kids
  •          Loss of appetite
  •          Mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis)
  •          Multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological disorders
  •          Nausea
  •          Pins and needles in the extremities
  •          Shortness of breath that results from only very light exertion
  •          Vomiting
  •          Weight loss
  •          White spots on the skin (typically the forearm) due to decreased melatonin

Deficiencies in essential fatty acids

There are two essential fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid).

Dr. Mercola says, “High-quality fats–especially omega-3 fats — are essential for good health and if you don’t have a gallbladder you will have an impaired ability to absorb them.”

Most Americans eat too many inflammatory omega-6 fats (think processed vegetable oils) and too few anti-inflammatory omega-3s, which sets the stage for a number of health problems.

The ideal ratio is 1:1 (Omega-3 to Omega-6), but the typical Western diet is between 1:20 and 1:50.

The plant-based form of omega-3 is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Recent studies show ALA is extremely inefficient. Less than 1% is converted to EPA and DHA for use by the body. Sources of ALA include flaxseed oil, canola oil, English walnuts, and soybean oil.

The animal based forms of omega-3 are eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA and DHA) and are mainly found in fish, shellfish, and krill. DHA is the primary structural component of your brain and retina, and EPA is its precursor.

DHA is found in cod liver oil, fatty fish, and in smaller concentrations in the organs and fats of land animals.

Signs of fatty acid deficiency:

  •          Allergies
  •          Alzheimer’s disease
  •          Asthma
  •          Bone weakness
  •          Brittle or soft nails
  •          Cancer
  •          Cracked skin on heals or fingertips
  •          Dandruff or dry hair
  •          Dry eyes
  •          Dry Eye Syndrome
  •          Dry, flaky skin, alligator skin, or “chicken skin” on backs of arms
  •          Fatigue
  •          Frequent urination or excessive thirst
  •          Gallstones
  •          Heart disease
  •          Lowered immunity, frequent infections
  •          Lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases
  •          Multiple sclerosis
  •          Parkinson’s disease
  •          Peripheral artery disease
  •          Poor attention span, hyperactivity, or irritability
  •          Poor mood
  •          Poor wound healing
  •          Postpartum depression
  •          Premature birth
  •          Problems learning
  •          Red or white acne-like bumps (on your cheeks, arms, thighs, and buttocks)
  •          Rheumatoid arthritis
  •          Schizophrenia
  •          Tissues and organ inflammation
  •          Ulcerative colitis
  •          Vascular complications from type 2 diabetes

Poor cholesterol regulation

One way the body regulates cholesterol is by excreting excess cholesterol through bile, which is mostly made of cholesterol, second to water.

According to R. A. Bowen DVM Ph.D. from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at

Colorado State University, “Secretion into bile is a major route for eliminating cholesterol. Free cholesterol is virtually insoluble in aqueous solutions, but in bile, it is made soluble by bile acids and lipids like lecithin. Gallstones, most of which are composed predominantly of cholesterol, result from processes that allow cholesterol to precipitate from solution in bile.”

About 50% of the cholesterol that passes through the small intestines is targeted for excretion. I learned that from course material published by the University of Washington. Interestingly, the material tells students to use a statin drug (which can actually increase your risk of heart disease because they deplete your body of Coenzyme Q10) along with another drug called ezetimibe, (which has been found to have no medical value). There’s no mention of diet or nutrition, only drugs.

Without a healthy gallbladder, you won’t be able to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K properly.

How gallstones develop

A common way for the problem to begin is with damage to the gut.

Tom Malterre lays out the progression:

“Problems can arise when the gallbladder never receives the signal to squeeze. This leads to a condition known as stasis where bile sits in the gallbladder for long periods of time. If the gallbladder is filled with bile that is laden with high levels of cholesterol, and low levels of phospholipids and bile salts, it can form a supersaturated sludge. This stagnant sludge allows for the perfect environment for crystal-like structures to form that precipitate out of solution.

These structures are known as gallstones and they can cause irritation in the gallbladder. If the stones are large enough, they may get low “Research indicates that both gluten and cow’s milk proteins can cause damage in the intestinal tract that leads to gallbladder stasis. Both foods contain proteins that are capable of exciting immune cells in the intestinal tract that can interfere with CCK signaling by disrupting the intestinal lining.

If the intestines are damaged, and CCK secretion is interrupted, the gallbladder never fully contracts to squeeze out all of the bile.”

lodged in the cystic duct or common bile duct. This leads to the symptoms of what is known as gallbladder attacks.”

Gallstones commonly begin with damage to the gut caused by gluten and cow’s milk protein.

Signs of gallbladder disease

Per Dr. Mercola, “If you have abdominal pain that is immediately below your last rib on your right side and lined up with your right nipple, especially if your press down in that spot, there is a good chance that you have a gallbladder problem.”

The symptoms to look for:

  • Pain when pressing on the gallbladder, which is directly under the last rib on the right on the same plane as one’s nipple. This is usually due to gallbladder “sludge” (thick bile).
  • Upper right quadrant pain in abdomen (may radiate to right shoulder of mid-back)
  • Feeling of fullness in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills/sweating
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Stone on a gallbladder ultrasound.
  • Greasy stools that are loose and tend to float to the top of the toilet bowl. This indicates improper fat                   absorption.

Signs of gallbladder disease include pain, nausea, chills, sweating, and yellowing of the skin.

How to reverse gallbladder disease without surgery

There are rare instances when the gallbladder really does need to be removed. According to Dr. Mercola, “Although most gallstones dissolve naturally and produce no symptoms, if one ignores warning symptoms and does not address the reasons why their gallbladder is not functioning properly, then the disease can progress to the point where the pancreas is inflamed or the gallbladder is seriously infected and may have to be removed to save a person’s life.”

But if the situation is not life-threatening, here are the steps to try.

  1. Do an Elimination Diet. Tom Malterre describes this step as “by far the most effective therapy for gallbladder issues I have seen.” You can find my free elimination diet here. Though the baseline elimination diet doesn’t require the removal of eggs and nightshades, you will want to eliminate those as well for gall bladder issues.”
  2. Consider a high-quality digestive enzyme supplement. Chris Kresser has recommended Now Super Enzymes. Dave Asprey also strongly recommended taking an animal based enzyme product (not derived from plants that are highly susceptible to mold) and listed the exact ingredients in the Now Super Enzymes. I found them to be the best price so that’s what I take.  Dr. Mercola recommends Beta Plus from Biotics Research.
  3. Eating at least 6 servings of vegetables and 1-2 servings of fruit per day to help to prevent gallstones. The Wellness Repair Diet tells you how many servings to have of each kind of food group.
  4. Eat 1/4 cup of broccoli sprouts per day. This can decrease bilirubin deposits in the gallbladder to reduce the likelihood of gallstone formation.
  5. Eat beets and raw beet juice. Beets are rich in betaine, which stimulates liver cell function and provides a protective effect for the liver and bile ducts.
  6. Consider a curcumin supplement.Tom Malterre say, “Curcumin extracts from turmeric have been shown to stimulate bile formation and gallbladder emptying. Meriva, a supplement of complexed phophatidylcholine and curcumin, has helped many of my clients with gallbladder issues.”
  7. Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid which can help to soften any gallstones as well as thin out the bile over time. Take a few teaspoons to tablespoons in some water prior to meals regularly for a time.
  8. Eat artichokes. According to Dr. Williams, “Leaves from the artichoke plant contain caffeylquinic acids, which promote bile flow. The simplest and least expensive way to benefit from these compounds is to eat the artichoke leaves. They’re easy to both prepare and eat.”
  9.  Bitters stimulate your liver to produce more bile and work more efficiently. Many cultures around the world begin meals with a quick burst of bitters. Some will drink a tea made from bitter herbs like dandelion or milk thistle. Others will simply chow down on a small salad filled with bitter herbs like chicory, arugula, radicchio, or even peppermint (peppermint is considered a bitter). Small doses of bitters should be consumed about 15 minutes or so before meals.
  10. Regular exercise is a great proactive prevention step.

What you must do if your gallbladder has been removed

Your liver is trickling bile, but none is being stored for when needed. (Scroll back up to see the long list of digestive problems this causes if you missed it.)

I like the way Amy Berger from Tuit Nutrition describes bile secretion from the liver without a properly working gallbladder storage tank: “It’s like a leaky faucet that drips constantly, but that you can never get to turn on full blast when you need to.”

Dr. Mercola recounts, “I have seen many hundreds of patients who have had their gallbladders removed and I don’t recall anyone ever telling me that their surgeon advised them to do something to compensate for removing this important organ.”

There is something you can do.

If you have your gallbladder removed, you will probably need to take a bile supplement with every meal for the rest of your life.

I take Now Super Enzymes because they contain Ox bile, Betaine HCl, and Lipase. I highly recommend using the capsule form and not tablets. I ordered the tablets once and found them to leave a terrible taste in my mouth for an hour. No issues at all with the capsules.

Dr. Mercola: “Anyone who has had their gallbladder removed will need to take some form of bile salts with every meal for the rest of their life if they wish to prevent a good percentage of the good fats they eat from being flushed down the toilet. If one does not have enough fats in the diet, their entire physiology will be disrupted, especially the ability to make hormones and prostaglandins.”

Dr. David Williams: “…there is one step every patient should take: Use bile salt supplements regularly.”

Among the functional medicine doctors, I found the most recommendations for ox bile. This is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the bile from oxen. Consider it your gallbladder in a bottle.

Ox bile should be taken just a few minutes before eating a meal or taking supplements containing fat.

If you take too much, the usual result is diarrhea. If that happens, just reduce your dosage.

One other consideration is that some fats are easier than others for people without a gallbladder. Chris Kresser advises, “Coconut oil is a very good fat for people without a gallbladder because it doesn’t require bile acids for absorption, so it’s rapidly absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine, and it’s transported directly to the liver via the portal vein.  These are medium-chain triglycerides that I’m talking about, and in fact, they’ve used in hospital tube-feeding formulas, you know, for people who have had surgery on their intestine or have had parts of their intestine removed because they’re so easy to digest and absorb.  So, coconut oil is definitely your friend if you’re lacking a gallbladder.”

Key Takeaways

  • Your gallbladder plays a vital role in digestion. Without it, your ability to absorb fat, and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, is greatly impaired.
  • Gallbladder disease can usually be reversed with diet and it is very rare for someone to need gallbladder surgery. The only time gallbladder surgery is needed is when the disease has progressed so far that the patient’s life is threatened.
  • If you have already had your gallbladder removed, you can simulate its vital function. You will need to take a digestive enzyme supplement containing ox bile a few minutes prior to every meal containing fat.
  • I take Now Super Enzymes because they contain Ox bile, Betaine HCl, and Lipase. I noticed much-improved digestion in a day. Within a week I was complemented twice on my skin tone and told the wrinkles on my face was going away.
  • Gallbladder dysfunction is almost always a symptom of an underlying cause that will continue to attack other organs and manifest as chronic conditions like obesity, acne, carpal tunnel, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety, depression, seasonal allergies and hundreds of others.

If you know someone having gallbladder trouble or who has already had theirs removed, will you pass this on to them?